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Lenten Devotionals Monday March 13, 2023: Joy of Children

“Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 18:3)

Over a lunch of hot dogs and mashed potatoes, our 3-year-old son said, “Look Mommy, I’m putting on my sunblock so I won’t get a sunburn.”

“Mmm-hmm, that’s nice, honey,”  I responded, lost in my thoughts about work and responsibilities.

He said it again, insisting on my attention.  “Mommy, look, I’m putting on my sun block so AI won’t get a sunburn.”  This time I heard the excited joy in his voice.

I looked.  My grinning, gleeful child had smeared ketchup all over his face, legs, and neck-the parts of him most likely to burn in the sun.

I couldn’t help but join him in his joy.

God does not desire us to live dour lives.  Spending time with children reveals that the potential for joy is all around us.  Look! they say, inviting us to share in their joy.  If we adults can get out of our heads, pay attention, and become like children, our lives will be graced with abundant joy as well.

Examine:  Remember yourself as a child at play.  Breathe.  Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.

Imagine:  Imagine yhou have nothing to do today, no responsibilities, no chores.  What will you do for play?

Pray:   Free me for joy, O God, so I can live with gratitude.